To the editor:
(re: “Engel helps COVID-hit co-ops,” May 14)
As a follow-up to the letter from Stephen Budihas, I would like to point out that U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, who also represents part of our community, has been important in efforts to secure the Paycheck Protection Program for housing co-operatives.
Residents of my co-op, Amalgamated Houses, reached out to Congressman Espaillat when we learned that housing co-ops were excluded from the PPP. Congressman Espaillat is a member of the House Small Business Committee, and it is the Small Business Administration that administers the PPP.
Congressman Espaillat wrote the SBA administrator and the U.S. Treasury Secretary seeking inclusion of co-ops, and he has remained active in supporting our co-ops. U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez is chair of the committee, and she also has co-ops in her district.
Housing co-ops throughout the city contacted legislators, and with their broad support, PPP for housing co-ops is included in the latest HEROES bill passed by the U.S. House. We know our senators are supportive, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will play an important role.
It’s an example of the sixth co-operative principle, commonly known as “cooperation among co-operatives.” Housing co-ops in our community are stronger through ARC, the Association of Riverdale Cooperatives & Condominiums, and co-operatives everywhere are a great form of home ownership. And the co-operative model is valuable in many other forms of business as well.